DUSHANBE, March 11, 2010, Asia-Plus  -- Likelihood of spring hazards deemed high Tajikistan’s Hydro-Meteorological Agency (Hydromet) forecasts heavy rains and snow in the mountains for the month of March, Newsletter No 15 by Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team (REACT) reports.

Precipitation might be up to twice the usual amount. The agency also says that the snowpack recorded in areas feeding the Panj, Vakhsh, Varzob and Zeravshan river basins is above the multi-year average.

Hydromet therefore warns that snow, rain and snowmelt may trigger various hazards over the spring months. This includes avalanches in Anzob, Shahriston, Rasht and the western districts of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) and flash floods in Ayni, Khovaling, Muminobod, Sangiston (as said) and Vose.

Avalanches already killed four people in the past weeks: two people in Shugnan district and one boy in Ishkashim district of GBAO; in the northern Sughd province, a Chinese citizen was killed on 25 February when an avalanche hit the Shahriston pass.

The Disaster Management Partnership in Tajikistan – Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team (REACT) was established in 2001 to promote the sharing of information, logistics and other resources between partners active in the disaster management sector, including the Committee of Emergency Situations and the Government of Tajikistan. The group that involves over 50 state, local and international organizations and entities meets regularly to coordinate and share experiences on issues related to various areas of disaster management, including preparedness, response, mitigation and capacity building activities with national bodies.  During emergency situations the partnership works closely together, coordinating response and assistance.